St. Jacob's Well near Dodge City, KS

Big Basin Englewood, KS 67831
Roughly 15 miles outside of Minneola, Kansas sits St. Jacob's Well. It is in an area known as Little Basin. St. Jacob's Well is a small pool of water that is the subject of numerous local legends.

St. Jacob's Well is a sinkhole formed centuries ago by the dissolving and eventually collapse of gypsum and salt that was hundreds of feet below the surface. The sinkhole is around 84 feet wide and is famous because no one has ever known it to be dry. Even during dry years there is always water in the well. There was speculation that the sinkhole must be tied into an underground stream, this would keep it full at all times and also wash away anything that managed to fall into the hole. Research has been done that has found the well to be about 58 feet deep and is shaped like a funnel, however, no evidence of any underground stream was ever found. It is believed that this was used as a landmark and watering hole for those driving cattle to Texas. The area around the well is mostly dry plains, though you can find a few plants here and there. There are a few trees and very few stray flowers including sunflowers. Wood is scarce in the area, so the old stone fence posts used to originally mark the area still stand. One thing to keep in mind is that even though there isn't much greenery, poison ivy does grow well in the area. It shares its space with sagebrush and rhus trilobata. While this is a popular landmark, it is usually not over crowded, you may run into a handful of hikers while you explore and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

St. Jacob's Well has been around for centuries and still holds some mystery. No one is really sure where the water comes from and how it always remains full. Spend an afternoon hiking through the area and enjoying all that nature can offer, and while you are in the area explore the beautiful Big Basin just down the road.

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